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Traditional Practice and Knowledge of Indigenous and Local Communities in Kailash Sacred Landscape, Nepal; ICIMOD Working Paper 2017/1

  • Chaudhary, R. P.
  • Bhattarai, S. H.
  • Basnet, G.
  • Bhatta, K. P.
  • Uprety, Y.
  • Bhatta, L. D.
  • Kotru, R.
  • Oli, B. N.
  • Sharma, L. N.
  • Khanal, S.
  • Sharma, U. R.
  • Summary

The Kailash Sacred Landscape (KSL) is a transboundary landscape (area: 31,252 sq.km) around Mount Kailash. KSL is exceptionally rich in cultural and ecological diversity and has its own traditional systems of resource use and management. KSL Nepal comprises approximately 42.5% of the total landscape area, and covers Baitadi, Darchula, Bajhang and Humla districts. This study was conducted in different representative villages of four districts of KSL Nepal with the aim of documenting the traditional practice and knowledge of the indigenous and local communities regarding natural resource use and management.


Resources like agriculture, forest, pastureland and non-timber forest products (NTFPs) have been managed by indigenous and local communities since time immemorial. People have been growing various crops depending on the location, climate and culture. Similarly, they decide the breed and number of livestock to be raised based on their access to pastureland, purpose, religious belief and location. Pasturelands are managed in two ways in KSL Nepal, either as open access or controlled access. Social institutions/communities decide the timing, duration, and area of grazing communally. Management structure of highland pasture is better regulated than that of lowland pasture. Forests in KSL Nepal are managed as government-managed forest, religious forest, community forest and leasehold forest. Local people develop rules and regulations to conserve the forest as a community forest and local authorities decide the time for collecting firewood and punish people involved in violating the rules. In some areas of KSL Nepal, forests are conserved as sacred forest where grazing and collection of timber, fodder, NTFPs, etc. are restricted. NTFPs have become major economic products in the region. The production of NTFPs is gradually decreasing due to unsustainable harvesting practices.

Main Record

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  • Publisher Name:
    International Centre for Integrated Mountain Development (ICIMOD)
  • Publisher Place:
    Kathmandu, Nepal